Three Swedish Journalists Arrested In Cuba

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

( - The arrests Tuesday of three Swedish journalists in Havana, Cuba have triggered a protest from the Paris-based group, "Reporters Without Borders."

Reports out of Havana say Birger Thureson, Peter Gotell and Elena Soderquist were detained by Cuban authorities on charges of meeting with Cuban dissidents. Robert Menard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders is demanding that the journalists be freed immediately.

"Interior Ministry agents arrived at seven in the morning at the house where the journalists were renting rooms, in the zone of Central Havana to detain them. The previous evening, they had met with various journalists who work for independent press agencies," Menard said in the protest letter.

It is not known whether the journalists are still being held in Havana or have been deported. The Cuban government had no official comment on the arrests, according to reports from Havana.

"It is the second time in fifteen days that foreign journalists have been detained in Cuba," according to Menard.

Martine Jacot, a French journalist who was in Havana on behalf of Reporters Without Borders to interview members of independent Cuban press agencies and the families of journalists who are currently imprisoned, was detained as she attempted to leave Cuba two weeks ago. Her video camera, cassettes and documents were confiscated.

Reporters Without Borders has Cuban Leader Fidel Castro on its list of the "10 worst enemies of the press"

The group also said journalists Bernardo Arevalo Padron, Manuel Antonio Gonzalez Castellanos and Jesus Joel Diaz Hernandez remain in Cuban jails after being labeled a "social danger."